Archive | Incentives & Praise

Smart Classroom Management: How To Teach At A Rewards-Focused School

How To Teach At A Rewards-Focused School

If you’re a regular reader of SCM, then you know how I feel about rewarding students in exchange for good (i.e. expected) behavior. A do-this-and-get-that approach to classroom management is damaging to kids. It snuffs out intrinsic motivation and turns the student-teacher relationship into a cold-hearted transaction. It also makes managing your classroom far more […]

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Praise With Power

How To Praise With Power

A teacher walks wordlessly with one of her most challenging students. They’re on the playground and it’s recess time. Some distance away the rest of the class laughs and plays and loses themselves in games of tetherball and foursquare. From a distance you might assume that the teacher has pulled the student aside to lecture […]

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The Best Incentive You Could Ever Give

Because I believe it’s a mistake to reward students for good behavior, I’m often asked, “So, then, the stickers, prizes, and such . . . should teachers refrain from giving them out at all?” Well, yes and no. Anything that whiffs of bribery should be avoided. No doubt about it. Promising a reward if your […]

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Smart Classroom Management: 3 Ways You Should Never Praise Students

3 Ways You Should Never Praise Students

Heartfelt praise based on true accomplishment is powerful stuff. It feeds your students’ internal motivational engines. It spurs them to greater success. It reinforces the slow-to-grow belief that hard work matters, that it really is more than worth the sweat and toil. Certainly they can see the proof of its fruits without your acknowledgement—sharper skills, […]

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Smart Classroom Management: 8 Ways To Fuel Your Students' Intrinsic Motivation

8 Ways To Fuel Your Students’ Intrinsic Motivation

Most students are praised too much. They’re praised too often, too public, and too over-the-top. They’re praised for things any reasonable person would conclude are simply not worthy of it. And as the bar of excellence drops lower and lower, it squeezes the work ethic right out of our students. Sure, they smile and blush […]

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Why You Shouldn’t Reward Students For Good Behavior

For regular education classroom teachers, giving rewards in exchange for good behavior is a mistake. It’s true that “do this and get that” type rewards can improve behavior in the short term. As in, “Sit up straight and give me your attention, and I will give you each a sticker.” Or, “John, if you can […]

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How To Praise Students And Influence Behavior

When I was a new teacher many years ago, I was told by a veteran colleague that the school’s principal valued praise above everything else. So when the boss walked through the door for my first formal observation, I started throwing around praise like a dog trainer with milk bones. Wow, great answer, Jason! Amazing […]

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